Saturday, June 12, 2010

First Vacation with all Five of Us!

We have just gotten back from our first vacation! It was wonderful. The weather was beautiful and we all had a wonderful time! My parents generously offered to allow us to come along with them to Hilton Head, SC. We had never been before and Seth and I found ourselves constantly discussing what a beautiful place it was.

While, we have wonderful beach scenes to share with you and family photos...unfortunately, they are on my dad's camera. So for today I have some pictures of our time at a place called, The Sandbox, in Hilton Head. The kids absolutely loved it there! Aubrey was so excited that this was a place "for kids ONLY! not for adults" and she reminded us of that fact repeatedly. Here are a few photos from the girls time there.

As you glance over the photos...let me just point out that this was a huge breakthrough for my germaphobic issues that still tnd to hang around a bit since our time in the NICU. Allowing the girls to play and crawl and to touch things that other "germy" kids had touched was not easy. But they were having such a great time, I just couldn't tell them no.

All three girls are growing up so quickly.  As far as updates on the girls...Aubrey is officially potty trained...during the day anyway (and most nights).  She is getting ready to turn three in July - I cannot believe it!  The twins are both going to begin speech therapy soon.  They are both using more and more signs.  If I can figure out how to post a video, I am hoping to get that on here soon.  They can sign, please, more, milk, eat.  Reagan is very good at copying signs and is really working on communication as a whole.  She signs readily throughout the day the simple signs that we have taught both of the girls and her new favorite thing to do is to say "um" at varying volumes to mean certain things. Cameron is not as quick to sign but will do it when you make her.  She loves for us to sign hand over hand with her.  Cameron continues to be the hefty eater of all three girls (she can out eat Aubrey at this point) and yet is still a lightweight.  Reagan is walking and Cameron is standing on her own and loves to push toys all around the house. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dedication Day

Well at long last we dedicated the girls at church today...all three of them!  Dedicating means that we commit to praying for them and striving to be Godly parents and the church also commits to supporting us and praying for us as well.  Today was so it was also the anniversary of our first full day at home together as a family. 

It was beautiful, all the grandparents were there and other special friends were there...the girls had on special outfits and then...we were called up to the front of the church.  Now, while I do wish that I had video to show you, perhaps your imagination can give you an even better glance at this.  The girls were so excited to have, well let's call it an audience.  Aubrey wiggled and wiggled until she had to be held.  Once she was being held, Reagan kept pulling her hair.  And Cameron talked (VERY loudly) the entire much so it was hard to hear what the pastor was saying.  The good news is, the whole church had a great sense of humor about it (I have to admit, that it was definitely a funny sight...I am sure I would have thought it even funnier were it not my family).  The other good news is that I wouldn't change a thing...even though it didn't go perfectly I am okay with it.  We are not perfect and never have claimed to be.  The church got a honest to goodness real life picture of what our family is like and there is never a dull moment at our house.  And although in the moment I don't always remember it....I am so grateful for every precious moment.

Thank you so much to such a wonderful, supportive church family.  What an honor to share such a special day with all of you who have prayed so consistently for our family.  We love you.

By the way, later in the day, we were talking with Aubrey about how wiggly she was being and she told us that she was going to tell the whole church that she was sorry.  Now, that too would be a funny picture...we'll see if she remembers next Sunday!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Homecoming Day Cameron!

One year ago, today, we finally got to bring home the youngest member of our family.  At last we were complete.  Here are some highlights from that day.

Here she is still all hooked up to the monitors doing her carseat test in order to come home.

She got an exit filled with bubbles to celebrate FINALLY being able to come home!

Cameron had to come home with a heart monitor at she is...obviously pleased with still being hooked up!

Aubrey's first time meeting Cameron at home.

Reunited at last!  After being together for a little over six months in Mommy's tummy and four months being apart...we love being together!

Look how tiny they look in our chair!

God is so good and has blessed us more than I know that I deserve!  On this day, a year ago, our family finally felt complete.  This was the day that the daily trips to the NICU at Duke stopped, the nightly phone calls checking in on babies, hours spent in the car, and hours spent separated as a family.  This day signifies completeness - of our family, that is.  I am so grateful for all that the Lord has done and all that the Lord has taught me through my daughters.  Stay tuned over the next few days for some more pics of what we have been up to lately!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Recap of the Last Week's Happenings

Well, of course, right after I set my new blogging goals...we end up with craziness here at the Carter house.  My poor kids have just been put through the ringer, illness wise and it finally caught up with Cameron.  After back to back illnesses she ended up in the hospital last weekend.  She was initially diagnosed with pneumonia and we were given breathing treatments to give her...they did not work well enough and so they had to admit her.  She could not keep up her oxygen levels on her own so they had to put her on a nasal cannula to assist her. 

She was admitted last Saturday and came home on Wednesday.  So, Seth spent the week with Cameron in the hospital.  Amongst all of this, Reagan also got sick and ended up with an ear infection.  After the first day or so, they told us that Cameron just had a virus and that it had to just run its course.  So, they gave her breathing treatments every four hours and steroids.  She has been diagnosed with some level of Reactive Airway Disease and so she now has to use a Flovent inhaler twice a day until the pediatrician deems that she does not need it any longer.

While we have been dealing with all this craziness though...Aubrey has been busy growing up!  She is potty trained...well not at night yet but during the day she has been amazing!  I am so proud of her!  She decided on this past Monday that she did not want to wear diapers any longer and she hasn't!  She has done amazingly! 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Happy Homecoming Day Reagan!

It is so hard to believe that this time last year, on March 28th, we were bringing you home.  That was the day that you officially got to meet your big sister and come home to your very own house.   Here are just a few pictures of that day my special girl!  You are such a miracle...God's perfect little gift.  All those days spent praying, learning and anxiously awaiting were here.  These next pictures were of your last day in the NICU with your sister.  We thought it would only be a week or so before she came home...little did we know it would be a month.

Here we are leaving the NICU headed home.  Daddy may not show it but he was very NERVOUS!!!

Your first few days at home were full of laughter, tears, and sleepless nights.  Mommy and Daddy soon learned that although we thought we knew about having a baby at home...we had no clue what we were doing!!!  You did not follow any of the rules and kept us on our toes all the time...still do!

Happy Homecoming Day Reagan!  What a year it has been and how far you have come!  We love you so much!
Reagan blowing a kiss to everyone!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Fun Day at Home With Mommy

We love pudding!!!!!

Cameron's Hearing Impaired Teacher...

is a miracle worker.  I was so unbelievably blessed today by watching her work with Cameron.  She had Cameron vocalizing sounds that almost sounded exactly like the real word - up.  Cameron kept saying u,u,u,u,u...which she has been known to do before but this just seemed so intentional.  She was so engaged.  She had her calling for a duck over and over again.  Cameron loves working with her teacher and all of her neat toys!

I also forgot to share that Cameron went back to Chapel Hill to see the Audiologist again.  This time they tested her left ear (her worst hearing ear) and they found that her hearing was actually better than expected.  Previously results had indicated that she had severe to profound hearing loss in that ear.  Last week they were seeing levels more consistent with just severe loss!  This is great news obviously!  Her hearing loss on both sides seems a little more similar than what we thought!!! 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Whole New Look

As you can see, I have updated the site...please bear with is a work in progress.  I don't really know the direction that the blog is going...just know that you can count on hearing from me much more.  The previous design was so...clinical and to be honest...just made me think about life a year ago.  I feel like the bright colors reflect the bright future and just how much we have to be thankful for.  Things have really begun to "settle" down for us...if that is possible.  Don't get me wrong, we still have doctors appointments and therapies all the time but as far as the day in and day out craziness - it just seems more manageable - Praise the Lord!  So, I would love to be able to give you a glimpse into our daily lives and how much of a blessing all three of my girls are to me! 

I would love to hear from any of you...I am thinking of renaming the name of the blog - any suggestions...keep it or change it?
For now, I will leave you with a photo taken just recently before the girls got hit with a nasty stomach bug!  They love hanging out with each other!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We're Back!

Well, after a very busy and long couple of months I feel like I could write volumes. As you know from the previous posts, the girls have had tons and tons of doctors appointments and God has continued to bless us with more and more praises.

Since our last post, we have been set free and allowed not only to go to church but the girls have even been allowed in the church nursery - which, since it is usually only them and one other baby is not a huge feat but at least it allows for me to actually hear the sermon and sit like an adult for just a few moments!!

Cameron had tubes put in her ears and boy is there a difference. My little girl has just made so much progress. She can hear loud sounds from far away, is learning to turn toward a background noise, knows her name when it is called, and so much more. When we went to the ENT in Dec. Camerons hearing test was measuring her actual hearing at profound her good ear! Since getting tubes put in, her right ear is measuring at moderate hearing loss - which is exactly where it should be. The doctors at Chapel Hill said that she is very hard to test because she reads so much off of the people...she focuses more on the testers than on the actual animated animals that are supposed to distract her. She is also picking up more fo the signs that we are using with her...when I sign no, she stops and shakes her head no, when I sign yes, she gets very excited, and on a good day, when I sign mother, she will say "mama." She is a Mommy's girl and always tries to watch where Mommy is and she also has been going through a time of having some pretty significant stranger anxiety.

At our last appointment at Duke, Cameron had an ear infection and so she could not have her developmental evaluation but they did mention that they were worried about her weight gain (she is still weighing in at about 16 pounds) and they also wanted us to switch to regular infant formula as a bridge to transitioning to whole milk. Poor Cameron has been getting sick ever since. Her reflux has returned with a vengeance and she only keeps down about half of her feedings a day. However, just last week she returned to Duke to do her Developmental Evaluation and they also said to try a different formula. Cameron did fabulous on her evaluation...right in line with her adjusted age (even with the hearing impairment - praise God!!!) and she really seems to like this new formula.

Reagan has continued to grow and be a little stinker. She loves her sisters and she loves to take risks (which she gets honestly from her dad!). She can climb the stairs so quickly, is pushing push toys across the room, and has begun to say more than just dada.

Both girls have had feeding evaluations because they were not progressing with eating solids. We are awaiting appointments to begin feeding therapy and the therapists believe that it won't be long before they are caught right up. Just since our evaluations a couple of weeks ago, the girls will now eat the gerber puffs and yogurt puffs and love it!

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Sorry it has taken so long to post. January has ended up being an unbelievably hectic month and February is looking to be more of the same. January came and brought several doctors appointments. The girls were real troopers and have really grown up here in the last month or so. The girls just had their first snow and they also just had their first pony tails last sunday for church (on top of their heads...I like to call them sprouts).

I think I will take each girl and tell you about what's new.

Reagan - Is cruising the furniture
-can climb the stairs
-looks as if she will need glasses before Cameron does...she is more nearsighted than Cameron. The Optometrist said that both girls will likely have glasses by the time that they start school.
-Had her developmental evaluation at Duke and is at or above her adjusted age in all areas. They called her "Their Little Superstar."
-Says dada, papa, gaga, baba and only when she is crying she will say mama
-has learned how to blow kisses - It is very cute because she knows when to pull it...she will do something she shouldn't or throw a fit and then look at you and blow a kiss. Little stinker :)!

Cameron-is pulling up on everything
-loves to crawl into tight places or on top of things (she can often be found trying to squeeze under or behind furniture)
*Perhaps the biggest thing that has happened with Cameron is that we realized that for quite some time she had not really been cooing or talking. The only time she would make a sound was when she would cry or laugh but she quit vocalizing entirely. We called the ENT and they said they needed to see her immediately. They said that every time she has been there, she has had fluid in her they need to put tubes in as soon as possible. Cameron's appointment is this Tuesday (Feb 2). Since that appointment we went for the girls developmental evaluations at Duke, upon arrival Cameron started running a 102 fever and was diagnosed with an ear infection. She was so miserable that they wouldn't assess her but the amazing thing was that once the antibiotic cleared the fluid our little girl was back. Our house is full of all the wonderful Cameron sounds that had once before gone missing. She squeals, coos, and vocalizes throughout her day. It is so beautiful and we are so hopeful that the tubes will bring about even more development for her.

So, that is about it for our household right now. Aubrey is, as always, a wonderful big sister and doing phenomenally. She loves going to school and has begun to really love fairy tales. Her favorite right now is the 3 Little Pigs. She has also learned the art of story telling and enjoys telling stories for the whole family to hear. She loves being a helper. One of the bittersweet things about Aubrey growing up is that she has begun to call us "Mom and Dad" instead of Mommy and Daddy. But on the plus side, her new favorite thing to do is to snuggle with Mommy at night and get warm from the cold weather.